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Nephrotic Syndrome, also known as Nephrosis, is defined by the presence of protein in the urine, low blood protein levels, edema or swelling, high cholesterol levels, and high triglyceride levels. This kidney disease can occur at any age. In children, it is most common between the ages of 18 months and 4 years, and more boys than girls are affected. In older people, both sexes are equally affected.
Nephrotic Syndrome can be primary, affecting only the kidneys, or secondary, caused by a vast array of disorders that affect other parts of the body, most commonly Diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, and certain viral infections.
Besides, it can also result from glomerulonephritis, a number of drugs that are toxic to the kidneys (especially nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs), certain allergies (allergies to insect bites, poison ivy, or poison oak), and hereditary factor.
Exams and Tests
•Urine tests. A urinalysis can reveal abnormalities in the urine, like excessive proteinuria (>3g/24h), if the person has NS. A 24-hour urine collection is needed for an accurate measure of the protein in the urine.
•Blood tests. If a person has Nephrotic Syndrome, a blood test may show low levels of the protein albumin specifically and, often, decreased levels of blood protein overall.
• Creatinine and creatinine clearance. Results of these tests give information on how well the kidneys are functioning.
• Kidney ultrasound to look at the kidneys. This exam helps to rule out other causes of the symptoms.
In adults, testing usually includes:
• Serum protein electrophoresis (SPEP)
• Antinuclear antibodies (ANA)
• Antibody tests for systemic lupus erythematosus
• C3 and C4 complement, proteins normally found in the blood
• Tests for hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV
Unless Nephrotic Syndrome is clearly caused by Diabetes, a kidney biopsy may be recommended to remove a sample of kidney tissue for testing. Children do not usually have a biopsy.
The outcome varies depending on the cause of the Nephrotic Syndrome, the person's age, and the type and degree of kidney damage. Symptoms may disappear completely if the disease occurs as a result of a treatable disorder, such as an infection, drugs, etc. If the underlying condition responds to corticosteroids, progression of the disease is halted at times, and less often the condition partially or, rarely, completely reverses.
Fortunately, if patients do not respond to drugs treatment, there is alternative therapy to help them avoid progressing to Kidney Failure. For information about the best treatment for you, feel free to Contact Us.
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